This weekend Matt and I attended a convention together. On the first night we were able to sit together. There was a wonderful band and full orchestra to play music and lead the worship, but even while sitting side by side I could not hear Matt unless I was leaned in close and I looked at his mouth. I would read his lips and listen for sound that matched. On the second full day we sat in different groups 20 or so feet apart. I knew where he was, but I couldn't actually see any part of him. I'll be honest - at one point I was reading an interesting and relevant report while 'the group' was discussing something I felt didn't concern me. I was only half paying attention. I was distracted. But then I heard his voice - my husband - and I looked up and listened and then smiled. There were 400 people in that room, but only his voice attracted my immediate attention and he wasn't even speaking to me. It warmed me, it brought me comfort, it settled me and brought my attention back to correct focus. Then today I read this story about Mary:
Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stooped and looked in. 12 She saw two white-robed angels, one sitting at the head and the other at the foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying. 13 “Dear woman, why are you crying?” the angels asked her. “Because they have taken away my Lord,” she replied, “and I don’t know where they have put him.”14 She turned to leave and saw someone standing there. It was Jesus, but she didn’t recognize him. 15 “Dear woman, why are you crying?” Jesus asked her. “Who are you looking for?” She thought he was the gardener. “Sir,” she said, “if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.” 16 “Mary!” Jesus said. She turned to him and cried out, “Rabboni!” (which is Hebrew for “Teacher”). John 20: 11 - 16
This is what stood out to me. Mary was heartbroken. She was distracted by the stresses and circumstance of her current situation. There were literally angels before her and the Lord behind her and she was so wrapped up in her that she'd completely missed the significance of their presence. In the midst of her turned upside down world Jesus came face to face with her - and she still didn't recognize him. But then HE said her name. And she knew. Without a thought or a hesitation she knew that He was real, He was alive, and He was there!
How many times have I been there? Where stress and heartache or worry and strife block my view of an every present Lord. But Jesus knows my name and in my moment of need He faithfully and gently calls out to me to offer comfort and to satisfy.
Lord today, let me hear your voice as you call my name. Let me get past my circumstance to see you every present in my daily journey to you. Amen.